The long and short of it

December 14, 2010

Fashionomics followers will be familiar with the Hemline Index, a theory presented by economist George Taylor in 1926 that suggests that hemlines on women’s dresses rise along with stock prices.

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Based on this theory, micro-minis can be seen in good times as women take more risks, while maxi dresses (floor-sweeping dresses) reflect uncertainty and conservatism during a recession.

Looking forward to 2011, many analysts expect reasonable global growth of 4.5-5 percent and equities are the No.1 favoured asset class among investors after the benchmark MSCI index has risen more than 9 percent so far this year.

But are we likely to see more mini skirts? Dana Thomas, author of “Delux: How Luxury Lost its Lustre” writes that “longer and stronger” is the latest trend for skirts as the long skirt makes a sudden rise.

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“Long, lean and fitted, in fluid fabrics such as jersey and satin, the skirt is being celebrated everwhere from Michael Kors to Robert Cavalli, Dolce & Gabbana, Erdem and Marc Jacobs,” fashion writer Thomas wrote in the FT.

Could it be then that the hemline knows something we don’t, or the index is falling out of fashion?

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